Magazine article Sunset

Meet Miss April: The Silky-Petaled Peony Is Poised to Steal the Spotlight This Month. Why? Rich Colors, Delicious Fragrance, and Luxuriant Foliage

Magazine article Sunset

Meet Miss April: The Silky-Petaled Peony Is Poised to Steal the Spotlight This Month. Why? Rich Colors, Delicious Fragrance, and Luxuriant Foliage

Article excerpt

Ten words that best describe you?

Horticulturist Nicholas Staddon calls me "an absolute smoker in every way--a dazzling, breathtaking head-turner."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

You've been called devastating. Why?

I steal hearts with my blowsy excesses, according to writer Amy Stewart. And I can be very fickle, especially in the West's warm climates.

What about you past?

I'm an international femme fatale: I have roots in every port. I'm the unofficial national flower of China, where I represent beauty, peace, nobility. I've had flings in Europe too--maybe that's where my blooms came to signal good fortune in romance.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

But you've settled in the West.

I've flowered in Oregon gardens almost from the state's beginnings; settlers traveling West during the 19th century carried my dormant roots in their covered wagons. The roots in their covered wagons. The cold Northwest winters invite me to bloom.

Human alter ego?

Penelope Cruz

Your signature scent?

It changes with my mood--anything from slightly spicy to old-rose or a hint of citrus.

You've worn pink on the red carpet. Any other colors?

Cream, snowy white, deep rose, yellow, apricot--even shades of copper and levender. …

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